BURKHARD SCHITTNY, Fineart
LEGACY PROJECTS 2015 / Video / 00:07:24 / 4:3 / color / sound
Please watch the video on full volume!
„Jaskolka“ is a piece that cuts into your hearing. It is not easy to endure, but Burkhard Schittnys stage direction is clear: “Please watch the video on full volume!” The soundtrack of the almost seven minute long video piece is brutal and goes up to the limit of pain. We hear the rattle of the train on the tracks, the squeaking, a perennial crackle, a violent, even historical appearing rhythm of the machines. A sound that recalls the past.
Sounds, noises, din: All of that seems very direct, scary, overwhelming in this piece. The sound, that was recorded live while filming on the train, has a tremendous power in Burkhard Schittnys video piece, but what we see, the sequence of the pictures, is just as intense.
“Jaskolka” is substantially founded on the fate of the artist’s parents. During the “Operacja Jaskólka” in 1946, Schittnys mother was expelled from todays polish Klozko to the west. She was only 10 years old at the time and left her hometown as a fugitive in a cattle car.
The video, that is based on the 10.361 film stills of Schittnys photo project “Alte Heimat. Neue Heimat” is a reminiscence of this trip: a trip to the unknown with a loud soundtrack that invokes violence and war just as the shadowy flickering, staccato fashion like sequence from the moving train does. The pictures recorded today stay infusible connected to the past, but they also point to political events, to powerlessness, elopement and expulsion in the 21st century.
“Operacja Jaskólka” was a british-polish agreement on the relocation of Germans after the end of World War II. The polish word “Jaskolka” means swallow, a migrating bird that will never return. Schittnys movie is compressing his mothers trip to the west – the compression of a seven day long trip on the former route of expulsion that the artist traveled by train himself.
On his way he came trough cities, villages, woods, fields. He came trough a gloomy, cold, grey snowscape, past rivers and lanes, churches, streets, factories and houses. It is a trip into the own family history, into the history of Word War II, into the trauma of expulsion.
Schittny manages a visualization of blazing memories. He shows us: memories are tangential, snapping, reviving, apprehending and leaving other things out, they find their very own rhythm. What happened more than 70 years ago still seems to be present in a mysterious way. The story isn’t over yet is what we are thinking when we look at this harsh and direct video piece. The memories are not only looking back but also lead us into the future.